The Ten Quid Question With Only One Answer

The Swans are back on the road today with a tough fixture against Bristol City and so the ten quid question rears its ugly head again: do I optimistically believe in a good performance and pay for the game or do I take the cheap option and stick to Twitter updates?

As a season ticket holder there’s no dilemma when the Swans play at home; the team runs out at the Liberty and I station myself at the desk in what is now my home office and tune in to Swans TV for live – albeit often out of synch – coverage. 

With an appropriate amount of snacks and an inappropriate amount of booze I’ll watch the ‘action’ and try and tune out the accompanying soundtrack of Anthony O’Connell’s banal ‘trivia’ and Wyndham Evans’ incoherent and overly biased mutterings.

The ten quid question was also rendered moot earlier this week when the Swans visited Birmingham to play Coventry as this was one of the midweek away fixtures free to air as it was red button only on Sky. The conundrum only comes in to play for Saturday fixtures, midweek games featured by a broadcaster and Cup games (of which there will be less of thanks to the Swans helpfully failing to turn up for the League Cup game against Newport).

That free fixture against Coventry a few nights ago is a perfect example though of why the ten quid question keeps cropping up: the Swans showed very little quality and even less ambition over what was a really poor showing that thankfully still yielded a point. 

The first half wasn’t great and was only illuminated by the totally out of keeping quality of Swansea’s goal, Ayew’s class showing through after a superb ball from Grimes and the sheer determination of Bidwell. But come on, with Fulton’s arrival for ineffectual striker Gyokeres from the start of the second half we were playing with three defensive midfielders in front of three centre halves! It’s no wonder we struggled to create anything at all and it really was an onerous watch.

It’s not the first game in this fledgling season where we have been dreadful to watch – but I had to pay for the privilege of observing the disjointed disappointment against Newport and although free, the timid and unambitious home draw against Birmingham, which fizzled out honours even with little attempt by Steve Cooper to win the game gives me pause for thought before opening up my wallet.

To be fair, you’d swear my wallet had been sealed shut with No Nails given its well documented reluctance to open for any reason these days!

Also to be fair, I forked out for a NOW TV ‘day pass’ to watch the game against Wycombe and that was an excellent entertaining performance from Coopers side, although it trailed off second half, and that it made it value for money.

But my experience watching our games online will always give me pause for thought before handing over my cash…

How the Hell Did That Happen? Swans Defy the Odds to Reach the Championship Play-OffsI admit, I have actually fallen asleep at my desk on a couple of occasions watching us this season – although that isn’t quite on the level of truly falling asleep a few times in a full Liberty Stadium watching Paul Clement’s side. Just as well I’ve been with the people around me on the Swans rollercoaster for over a decade now otherwise it would be more than just a tad embarrassing waking up in my seat with crust in my eyes and drool over my Swans scarf! 

I digress.

I think everyone will admit that the novelty of watching football with no fans from the home sofa has well and truly worn off, if it was ever there in the first place. I’m struggling to do it. It’s such a soulless, hollow experience – even when the football’s good and the result is right (like the dramatic win over Reading last season).

It all makes me consider whether I want to spend my hard earned dough on it, especially when I rail so violently against the rampant greed and profiteering that is rife in football in these modern times.

I binned my Sky TV and BT Sport subscriptions years ago and I’ve watched just one Premier League game in the last few years, and that was the Chelsea v West Brom game that came with my NOW TV pass for the Wycombe v Swans game. I ain’t missed the Premier League or Champions League in the slightest and it is only the Swans I’ll consider paying for.

And that’s what it comes down to every time and why there’s only one answer; here I am a few hours from kick off supposedly considering the ten quid question, weighing up whether I want to spend the cash, trying to find reasons to justify it despite being lucky enough to afford it (and there are many that cannot justify the spend even if they want to, and more so in these bleak economic times), and grizzling about why I shouldn’t cough up.

It all makes no difference – in the end I will settle down at 3pm with Anthony O’Connell and his latest sidekick (think it’s Trunds today) and I’ll be glued to the monitor for better or worse.

When it all comes down to it, the ten quid question always has the same answer: of course I’ll pay up, the Swans are on mun!